I had a dream to own a farmhouse in the country, a wrap around porch, large vegetable garden, climbing roses, chickens and ducks roaming free, a cow (oh, my, yes a cow) and a simple swing hanging from a large shady tree right out front.
When I imagined having a home of my own that was the picture painted in my mind, that was my hope.
But that's not the home we found and we're not in the country, so was I disappointed when we finally purchased our very first home eighteen months ago? Yes and no.
Most of you know we went through quite a journey to be home owners (well, co-owners with the bank) so there was tremendous relief when we eventually found 'the' house we could afford and which ticked most of the boxes on our long list...but what won it over for me was the large powered shed out back for my dear husband and the area available to plant a vegetable garden in both front and back yards. I was very happy about all that.
My honest disappointment was due to the very beige and brown colour scheme throughout, especially the fairly new kitchen. Knowing we could not afford a makeover to 'country white and cream' I've spent this past year and half adding colour here and there with what I make and how I decorate. And in some odd way this has been really good for me because it makes me look with creative eyes at the internal environment we live in...probably a bit more so lately while we've been isolated at home like everyone else in the country.
I pondered Paul's words in Philippians 4:11 this morning...
"...for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content."
...and I realised mostly I am very content indeed, but then some days I'll dwell on the dream that never came to pass and feel temporarily discontent. Do you have days like that?
Most of the discontent arises from pondering the beige and brown kitchen, and that's just the truth of it, so recently I chose to pray and consider what changes I CAN make to what is essentially a well set out room with everything I need to bake and prepare meals. Focusing on the best parts and planning simple changes to the rest by using the skills I have and probably a bit of hubby's muscle soon as well.
Which leads me to today's tutorial!
If you can't get the farmhouse kitchen you want, begin making things that reflect that style and put them on display...
I used to store my potatoes and onions in the spare fridge (here in the tropics that is quite normal) but when the fridge decided to take a permanent break I had nowhere to put them so they hid in the pantry beside the rice and pasta.
Years ago I made a potato produce bag from a nice thick tea towel and so I thought it would be good to make a new one, plus a second for onions, but this time give them the country farmhouse look I love. I chose blue tea towels because the colours blend well with beige and brown and when my hubby puts together the three tier vegetable trolley on wheels that I bought (because I'm hopeless at putting things together and always ask him or Blossom to step in) they can not just serve a purpose by shielding my potatoes and onions from the light but look good too.
Here's how my bags were made:
Step 1 - choose your tea towel and wash it because tea towels shrink a lot.
Step 2 - dry, press and remove both side hems and the bottom hem.
Step 3 - fold in half, and with right sides together sew a scant 1/8 inch seam down the sides and across the bottom.
Step 4 - turn the bag inside out and press flat.
Step 5 - sew down the sides and bottom edge again, encasing the raw edges in a French seam.
Step 6 - sew cotton lace, bias binding, ricrac braid, ribbon - whatever you like - around the open top edge.
One of my tea towels has the cotton lace sewn under the edge and the other towel had it sewn over the top. Pin the lace first to see which style you prefer.
Step 7 - gather some buttons, a length of twill tape (I used tape from fat quarter bundles I bought about ten years ago which proves everything can be reused one day), a piece of solid colour fabric, embroidery thread and DOWNLOAD this sheet to trace the words.
Step 8 - trace the words and backstitch them with two strands of your chosen thread. Trim the word blocks to a quarter inch larger than the stitchery. Fuse to the top right fold as shown above using a scrap of fusible web or simply pin in position. Blanket stitch around the word block with a single strand of thread.
Step 9 - attach the twill tape by folding in half and sewing into the side seam with a button.
Step 10 - sew the buttons in place and fill with produce!
Fill those bags and think about what other produce or supplies might be prettied up in bags like these.
I am thinking about rice, pasta, beans...those bags could be smaller.
What else would you use them for?
My next bags might be green and cream because I only have one more blue tea towel, but I also think green would look lovely amidst the beige, brown and blue...especially as we have a green blind in the kitchen and green plants on the windowsill.
This has been the third project in my Creative Hands At Home initiative this week and next week I'll be back with three more. The final project will be shared the week after.
If you missed the first two they are the Churn Dash Tulips pincushion and stitchery HERE...
...and the Hexie Flower Tea Towel HERE
I can hear my husband pulling in to the driveway now and that heralds the start of our weekend so I'd best be away and make a cuppa for our Friday afternoon wind down.
He's been building raised garden beds from old wooden palettes this week and over the weekend we will fill them with soil and do a bit more planting.
Before I go here's a few more project ideas I found online that you might want to try while being home.
Kerryanne has some very pretty handmade tags you can download and print, and I have a feeling a few of us have been making more gifts than usual lately so the will come in handy.
I pray these days of rest ahead give you joy and healing and refreshment.